A comparison of the palliative care needs of patients dying from chronic respiratory diseases and lung cancer


Edmonds, P., Karlsen, S., Khan, S. and Addington-Hall, J. (2001) A comparison of the palliative care needs of patients dying from chronic respiratory diseases and lung cancer. Palliative Medicine, 15, (4), 287-295. (doi:10.1191/026921601678320278).

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Description/Abstract

This paper reports on data from the Regional Study of Care for the Dying, conducted in 1990, and compares symptoms, care and service utilization for patients with chronic lung diseases (CLD) and lung caner (LC) in the final 12 months of life. Post-bereavement structured interviews were conducted with informal carers of 449 LC patients and 87 CLD patients. The LC patients were significantly younger than those with CLD (P = 0.001) and these respondents were more likely to have been a spouse (P = 0.034). No differences were found in the mean number of symptoms reported by the two groups in the final year or week of life, although the CLD patients were more likely to have experienced these symptoms for longer. Significantly more patients with CLD than LC experienced breathlessness in the final year (94% CLD vs 78% LC, P < 0.001) and final week (91% CLD vs 69% LC, P < 0.001) of life. Significantly more LC patients were reported to have experienced anorexia (76% LC vs 67% CLD, P = 0.06) and constipation (59% LC vs 44% CLD, P = 0.01) in the final year of life. There were no differences in general practitioner use, but LC patients were reported to have received more help from district nurses (52% LC vs 39% CLD, P = 0.025) and from a palliative care nurse (29% LC vs 0% CLD, P < 0.001). More CLD patients were reported to have received help from social services (29% CLD vs 18% LC, P = 0.037). LC patients were reported to be more likely to have know they might die (76% LC vs CLD 62%, P = 0.003) and to have been told this by a hospital doctor (30% LC v 8% CLD, P = 0.001). Among those that knew, LC patients were told earlier prior to death than CLD patients. This study also suggests that patients with CLD at the end of life have physical and psychosocial needs at least as severe as patients with lung cancer.

Item Type: Article
ISSNs: 0269-2163 (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: palliative care, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, terminal care, hospice
Subjects: R Medicine > RT Nursing
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0254 Neoplasms. Tumors. Oncology (including Cancer)
Divisions: University Structure - Pre August 2011 > Superseded (SONM) > Superseded (CPE)
University Structure - Pre August 2011 > Superseded (SONM)
ePrint ID: 23970
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2006
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 18:13
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/23970

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